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Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two


From:

Rigging a Face in Flash Professional

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two

So we've got the d-mouth done, which is really nice, and that's a pretty cool shape-tweened action. So it's time to do the next of the big frames of the dialog, and that's the ooh mouth when they really punch it in to a little tiny O shape. And with all kinds of dialogue sounds and effects we can get out of that. So let's hide everything except the mouth inner, and zoom in. So let's make a keyframe here. Select the column and go F6. And again, we'll use the Free Transform tool to pull this in as close as we can. And as you can see, we can get this really close.
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  1. 14m 16s
    1. Introduction
      42s
    2. What you should know
      2m 0s
    3. Setting up Flash
      8m 35s
    4. Dos and don'ts
      2m 59s
  2. 59m 26s
    1. Establishing the directions
      7m 9s
    2. Setting up layers for the head
      6m 58s
    3. Drawing the head
      19m 2s
    4. Creating the mouth
      11m 27s
    5. Drawing the eyes
      4m 31s
    6. Animating the eye blink
      10m 19s
  3. 48m 0s
    1. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part one
      10m 24s
    2. Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two
      7m 43s
    3. Creating mad or sad mouth dialogue shapes
      10m 7s
    4. Creating neutral mouth dialogue shapes
      7m 36s
    5. Building unique mouth shapes
      12m 10s
  4. 29m 27s
    1. Creating jubilant expressions
      11m 47s
    2. Creating furious expressions
      6m 4s
    3. Fine-tuning expressions
      11m 36s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Clock rotation demonstration
      2m 23s
    2. Creating the twelve-o'clock pose
      9m 2s
    3. Creating the six-o'clock pose
      5m 19s
    4. Creating the three-o'clock pose
      10m 16s
    5. Creating the nine-o'clock pose
      9m 35s
    6. Creating the remaining poses
      13m 17s
    7. Fine-tuning the head rotation
      11m 54s
    8. Fixing layering issues
      7m 42s
  6. 2h 10m
    1. Introducing the turnaround
      2m 55s
    2. Creating the B head (3-quarter)
      6m 45s
    3. Creating the C head (profile)
      8m 51s
    4. Creating the D head (3-quarter rear)
      13m 2s
    5. Creating the E head (rear)
      8m 59s
    6. In-betweening symbols manually
      9m 58s
    7. Creating the H head
      6m 41s
    8. Creating the G head
      11m 33s
    9. Creating the F head
      19m 18s
    10. Creating the B mouth (3-quarter)
      13m 41s
    11. Creating the C mouth (profile)
      14m 33s
    12. Adding detail to the C mouth
      7m 42s
    13. Creating other mouths
      6m 28s
  7. 54m 24s
    1. Putting together a head rotation
      14m 29s
    2. Moving frames between symbols to make a rotation
      10m 23s
    3. Using the rig with audio
      14m 59s
    4. Adding expressions to the animation
      14m 33s
  8. 1m 0s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 0s

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Rigging a Face in Flash Professional
6h 46m Intermediate Sep 19, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Dermot O' Connor offers experienced Flash designers a step-by-step guide for creating and animating a full-featured cartoon face in Adobe Flash Professional. The course begins with some best practices for setting up the rig and moves on to building facial features such as the mouth and eyes, sculpting the mouth to simulate dialogue, and creating a range of expressions. The course also shows how to rotate the head using poses, move the rig along multiple axes, and incorporate audio.

Topics include:
  • Setting up layers for the head
  • Animating blinks
  • Fine-tuning expressions
  • Fixing layering issues
  • Adding expressions to the animation
Subjects:
3D + Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Creating happy mouth dialogue shapes, part two

So we've got the d-mouth done, which is really nice, and that's a pretty cool shape-tweened action. So it's time to do the next of the big frames of the dialog, and that's the ooh mouth when they really punch it in to a little tiny O shape. And with all kinds of dialogue sounds and effects we can get out of that. So let's hide everything except the mouth inner, and zoom in. So let's make a keyframe here. Select the column and go F6. And again, we'll use the Free Transform tool to pull this in as close as we can. And as you can see, we can get this really close.

It's much more accurate to use this to at least do the big broad movements. Now let's see if that works at all before I go any further. And it is; it seems to be tweening on both sides. That's really great. If you find it doesn't work for you, essentially, it's a question of pushing the points around. What I do is I have problems with this. I'll go frame by frame and find out at what point do I move it in the break? So for example, I'm going to pull that down and move left and right, and as you can see, it's still working.

Same on the other side. Let's pull that down, forward and back one frame, and that's still working fine. Let's go in even closer. I'm going to pull this one in to try to match the rough sketch a little better, and I think we're still fine. So that's how I work, and if something starts to go haywire, then I just Ctrl+Z and undo, until I go back and find what broke. So I'm sure at some point in this process something will go crazy on us and I'll have to have to show you exactly what's involved.

I think the shape tweening changes from version to version of Flash. They seem to be--very hard to tell of course, but it does seem to be little better in the latest version. But I also use the Macromedia version very effectively, so don't rule it out just because you might not have CS6. So we have that shape taken care of. Let's hold down the Alt or Option key and drag out to the mask layer, and let's do the same thing for these two. So we have the lip upper. And again, don't forget we have to color that black, and the lower one, too, while we're doing that.

Okay, so let's look at the mouth inner shape, and then we have the lip upper. I can even put that in Outline mode. And as you can see, it needs to be pulled up here. And I noticed that one of our points has being subsumed, so let's hold the Subselection tool down and click on--this has now been lost, so let's re-create it. Draw a box around the area and delete it, and with the Snap on, we will re-create that.

A little tedious two-step that we have to do, and now we have it back, because we have to have that fine level of control. We've actually lost it on the outer side as well. It might not matter; let's just see what this looks like. Now it seems to be working. So I'm going to leave it for now. Repeat the process for the bottom. Opposite process, now we'll pull this down. Again, I've lost control of the points here, but this might work. And again, we can almost grab them back by the same trick as we used before, these points here and here. One way of doing it, I'll draw a line across, use the eyedropper, fill that.

Get rid of the line, get rid of this, get rid of that. And then just be sure that, yeah, we have that point back and something strange happening there. Okay. This is an utterly typical example of the kind of things that you have to deal with using this technique. It's a minor annoyance. Well worth the reward once you get it working. So now we have the lips and the inner mouth and the mask.

Let's see what it looks like all together. Pretty good! So just to fix the teeth on this one, they should be down lower. I'll put the mask into Outline so we can see them. And the tongue probably should be a little bit lower so we can see it hint of the back of the mouth. Let's padlock that, and let's zoom out. That is great. And I'm not seeing any kind of shimmering or weirdness.

So the next thing to do is very simple. To do the rest of the mouths, they are little more than glorified in-betweens. So I could pick, say, this frame here for the e-mouth. Let's move it there. I don't use a direct in-between. I like to move it one over, because that way you got a little more texture, a little more variety. Something strange is happening here. This is starting to break, so we have to fix that. The next thing is the c-mouth, which is this kind of halfway open, so let's pick here and then drag these keyframes for the c. And the b-mouth would be I think something like this might be good, so let's pick that, and let's see if these all behave themselves.

They pretty much do, apart from this transition here into the e. So I'm going to go in really close and have a look. And I am actually glad that happened so that you can see the kind of tactics that we have at our disposal to take care of it. So let's look at each level by itself. The mouth behaves, so I think the culprit is one of these two, so it would have to be. First of all, we'll find out how many points are on here, and what's happened is when we created the e-mouth, artificially, the tweening wasn't exact and we ended up generating these additional points.

So what I'm going to do to correct that is make my own. Use this as reference, but I'm going to take to the d-mouth, hold down the Alt or Option key, and drag it to here, and I'm going to position it over. Now this will have perfect geometry. See, it's got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 points, whereas the e-mouth, which we have created by the computer, is a mess. So let's grab this and Free Transform, and again, just pull it in. That's pretty close.

Now let's go in really tight. Make sure Snap is on because we need to nail these corners. No room for error there. And then the rest simply is about pushing and nudging. Okay. So once you've got it reasonably close, click it and drag it and drop it down, and let's see if it behaves, and it does. And that's how you deal with disobedient tweens. So that should be pretty clean.

Let's check the one above. And the upper lip was fine, so we only had to do it once. The lip needs a little bit of help. Oh, and a little bit of weirdness. I think I forgot to position the lower lip. I always forgot that. So let's curl that up so it matches the ooh. Now I'm noticing some little weirdness here where the mask is bleeding out.

So we can fix that by correcting the mask. Let's hide the teeth. And I think the simplest thing to do is pull the mask layer in. It's also the inner mouth too, I think. Yeah, it's the mouth layer. So now we have our front-on happy mouth, and from this we can extrapolate several other kinds of mouth shapes--the sad mouth, and the neutral mouth--and we'll do that in the next movie.

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